Traditional Trinidad Corn Soup

21.2.17 | Recipe by Renz

This warm and flavorful Trinidad Corn soup is just perfect. It's the top Caribbean soup that can be enjoyed for all seasons. A heavily layered flavorful base with fresh corn kernels, succulent dumplings, and vegetables and a kick of spice. A soup your entire family would love.

A bit white pot of Trinidad corn soup with a bowl serving

Corn soup is popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It's especially popularly found after fetes (parties) and at carnival time.

But this can also just be the Caribbean corn soup, and not just a Trinidadian dish because this meal has crossed borders and can be found on most islands.

Trini corn soup is ram-packed with split peas, corn, dumplings, and provisions. The flavors are thick and heavy... and delicious. It's a complete meal.

It's the perfect "pick up" after a night of feteing, drinking, and dancing the night (or day) away.

Another favorite for me is some boiled corn. Yum

Corn soup ingredients:

Making this family favorite is always an exciting time. Everybody is always looking forward to a big warm bowl of flavor. And this corn soup recipe gives all of that.

Corn on the cobs on a cutting board about to be cut into pieces

  • Corn - I definitely prefer using fresh corn. It's at its peak and tender and sweet. But frozen corn can also be used.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Onion
  • Green onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bell pepper - both green and red
  • Yellow split peas
  • Scotch bonnet pepper
  • Pepper sauce 
  • Salt & black pepper 
  • Coconut milk
  • Tania (or sweet potato)
  • Thyme
  • Vegetable stock
  • Water
  • Shado beni/Culantro/Bandania
  • Oil
  • Flour
  • Pimento peppers
  • Vegetable oil

Equipment needed

Heavy stock pot
Immersion Blender (optional)

How to make corn soup

Now like most recipes for soups especially, there are no HARD rules for making this. So many variations on what can be used to make the base, but it MUST have corn.

For me, it also MUST also have dumplings.

It can be regular dumplings, whole wheat dumplings, cassava dumplings, or even cornmeal dumplings.
I can do with just those two things alone as the main stars but don't be scared to find plantains, sweet potato, tania, Idaho potatoes, cassava, or even pigtails or salt beef in your soup.

This soup requires a little TLC but it's not hard to make.

The main part of this soup is the base. It's this well-flavored base that makes everything taste great.

We want to get some kernels off of a few of the cobs. Along with the split peas, this will give some body to the base.

Just slice them off in two.

Then cut the remaining cobs into disc sizes of your choice. They can be big or small but they should be as uniform in size as possible.

In your heavy bottom soup pot, we are going to start building the base now with celery, onions, and cloves of garlic. then your split peas and the corn we shaved off. Add thyme and let those get a little toasty.

Once done, add some water and stock and we need to get the peas tender. You may need to add more water to get the peas tender. If you soaked your split peas prior to boiling it will take less time.

When the peas are tender (or "buss" as we say), use the back of the spoon to crush some, or you can even use an immersion blender.

Continue to build your base by adding coconut milk, hot pepper, more water, and just about everything else. Corn pieces, your dumplings, carrots, bell peppers.

If you have chive, you can add it in here now also.

Season up with salt and pepper to taste.

When dumplings are up to the top, your pot of soup is ready.

A bowl of delicious corn soup with corn carrots and dumplings

Storage and reheating

This can be made ahead by a few hours and just kept on a warm heat till ready to serve.

Keep your eye on it as depending on what provisions you use it can thicken up. So as it sits it will get too thick. Just add water.

This makes a big batch. If it's a small, not greedy group you can easily half this recipe.

If you happen to have leftovers you can easily warm this up the next day. You can do it on the stovetop on medium heat and let it come to a simmer till warmed through.

You can freeze leftovers also. Place in an airtight freezer container. When ready to use, bring to room temperature then add to a pot on the stove.

Add water as needed since it sometimes gets thicker after freezing.


: Can't find fresh corn, then you can use frozen corn. I personally prefer not to use corn nibs, as I find those are so soft. I rather find corn that had been frozen from fresh, If you really can't even find those, then you can use corn in the tin. I would use the sweet version. You just obviously won't have any pieces of corn to eat. You can mix in some cream style corn too.

Shado beni/chadon beni: If you do not have this, you can use some cilantro instead. Just double up the amounts

A big bowl of corn soup


Try to get your corn pieces to be as close to the same size as possible. This would make sure that all are cooked at the same time.

One thing that happens, is that this soup get's thicker as it cools. Just add more water if needed.

The best way to reheat this soup is in a pot on the stove. Add water to the pot on medium-high heat, and let it simmer till warmed all the way through.

The dumplings for soups are not as big as the dumplings we make for eating with stews. These drop dumpling, also called spinners, should be about the same size so that they cook all the way through, and at the same time.

Delicious Trinidad corn soup in a bowl

When you order this soup from street vendors (or at a party), they give it to you in a nice Styrofoam cup. Hot and piping from a big pot.

Just holding the warm cup of corn soup and the aroma excites you.

Honestly, I think that the soup tastes most amazing when in the cup, haha.

Carrot, corn, dumplings sweet potato. Can you really go wrong here?

How can you not want this?

As an avid corn lover, give me corn. Big, big chunks of sweet corn.

Check out some other popular Carnival foods:

Bake and Saltfish
Geera chicken neck
Chicken foot souse
Caribbean roast corn